10 Reasons Why You Should Revisit Your Portal Strategy


Your Cloud Strategy is Changing

If you are changing the direction of your cloud strategy, consider how this could impact your portal. 

Adding a cloud service to your technology stack may bring with it a list of decisions to make. 

For Example:

·        Will you deploy a Hybrid pattern

·        Which portal areas belong in the cloud

·        How will the profile of your portal’s security, compliance and legal requirements be affected by the introduction of a cloud service

A Dynamic Portal, With Changing Content and Features Creates Engagement

Engagement is created and maintained by planning new features, improving existing features and retiring features that don’t work.  Users love dynamic, changing portals and will return to dynamic portals.  New content and changes are what keeps them coming back for their next visit.

The work of building an engaging portal does not end and requires regular attention.  We recommend frequent releases of new features that are driven by user demand. 

Product Features are Being Released More Frequently

Microsoft is releasing features into Office 365 frequently.  You need to be aware of the new functionality and how you may leverage new features to benefit your business. 

Check the Office 365 Roadmap frequently to track the development of new Office 365 features.

Portal Stakeholders Should be Consulted Regularly

Great portals aren’t built in isolation or by ivory tower thinkers.  A portal vision should be established with stakeholders and users. This vision should serve as a compass that is used to direct investment in your portal. While evaluating new opportunities for your portal confirm how they align with your vision. 

Make sure you have frequent conversations with your stakeholders and revisit the vision for your portal regularly.

Priorities Change and Your Portal Needs to Reflect This

We’ve discussed how important it is to consult with your portal’s stakeholders.  Dedicate a part of this ongoing conversation to identifying priorities within the business.

Ideally, your portal reflects your current business priorities.  Before new features or feature updates are planned, consider the alignment they have with your portal strategy. 

Portal Trends Can Impact Portal Success

Things change quickly in the portal business.  Consider how trends in technology can affect your portal strategy.

If you aren’t following portal trends, you could be missing some great opportunities for enabling your business or creating engagement. 

For Example:

·        The Responsive UI Trend may require you to reconsider your mobile strategy and the experience users are having on different devices.

Successful Portals Depend on Enabled Users

If your user base is struggling to use your portal’s key features, its likely they will either become reluctant users or will choose to keep their content in other places.

If your users aren’t enabled, you may need to consider whether your training offerings are addressing the needs of the users. 

Your portal can evolve as the skills of its users become more advanced.  Developing the skills, abilities and knowledge of your portal’s users will increase the mileage of your portal and improve the engagement potential.

Portal Success is Measurable

Portal analytics can tell the story of what is happening in your portal.  Using web analytics, you can quickly tell where people are going in your portal, what they are accessing and what they are not.

Search analytics show what people are searching for and finding (or not finding) through searches.

The information provided in analytics is valuable.  However, the real value comes from the work done by reading between the lines.  Confirm with users why they might be abandoning searches and if they are finding what they are actually looking for in their top searches. 

Analyzing usage patterns in your portal is an important part of your portal ownership work.  Share the results with stakeholders and remember what people are doing in your portal before planning the next phase.

The Security Requirements of a Portal Change

As your organization evolves, consider how this may impact the securable areas of your portal. 

Ideally, your portal is divided nicely into pockets of similar content with similar requirements.  However, requirements may emerge that shake up the implementation of your strategy.

For Example:

·        Will you enable external collaboration throughout your portal and rely on reporting to identify externally shared content or confine it to a single area with a tight boundary?  There are benefits to either approach.

Your Strategy is Not Being Owned

If your Portal strategy does not have owners who are empowered or committed, your strategy will suffer.  Without proper representation or accountability, you will not find success in implementing your portal strategy.

Make sure your steering committee is meeting regularly and has the authority and budget to fulfill the strategy.